It’s no secret I’m a tool junkie. I love a good tool. One that works and does what it is advertised to do. I usually don’t purchase a tool as soon as it hits the stores – unless I’ve done some research and it’s one I’ve been waiting for.
In classes I’m often asked if I prefer one binding system over another. The truth is just because I prefer one doesn’t make it better than the other. It is often the tool you start with that becomes your favorite. Not because it might be the best, but because you’ve made a commitment to it.
When I discovered my joy of creating mini books I started looking at different binding systems to buy. It was really hard to find a good one just eight or nine years ago. I started with the Rollabind system that uses little plastic discs. I actually made my first family calendar for Christmas gifts with this system. I think it was 2002.
As the scrapbooking industry grew more popular over the years tools and other products really improved and we were given more choices. There are several good binding tools available today. The three biggies that come to mind are 7Gypsies, WER Memory Keepers and Zutter.
I settled first on the Zutter Bind-it-all system after the second version (pink) was released. I’ve been very happy with this system. I like the tight rectangular holes it punches and the ease of closing the wires.
I also own the Cinch, which is a great little machine but I just can’t get beyond the fact that I need to carefully watch as I close the wires so as to not scrunch them and it punches small circles that allow the wires to move around more than I like.
Both systems work really well and I have heard from quite a few of my students who really prefer the Cinch over the Zutter. It really boils down to personal preference with either of these machines. They both perform well and are fairly easy to use. I will recommend, however, that when and if you purchase a tool – read the instructions and watch the instructional video. I really committed to the Zutter when I bought it and read and reread the instructions until I was comfortable punching. I still refer to the booklet when punching odd lengths.
Book rings continue to work well for binding mini books. They’re inexpensive, easy to use and you can tie pretty ribbons or dangle charms from them. I’ve seen books bound with as little as two rings to some with as many as a dozen.
In the end you need to decide which system will work best for the projects it will be used for. If you do intend to purchase a pricey binding system, do your homework first. There’s lots of info online and WER just released a new (blue) version of its Cinch.
Let me know what kind of binding system you use and why. I have a Tim Holtz stamp set from Stamper’s Anonymous – Winter Sketchbook – to give randomly give away!